The External World and Our Knowledge of It: Hume's Critical Realism, an Exposition and a Defence

The External World and Our Knowledge of It: Hume's Critical Realism, an Exposition and a Defence

by Fred Wilson


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802097644
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 10/25/2008
Series: Toronto Studies in Philosophy Series
Pages: 640
Product dimensions: 6.35(w) x 9.38(h) x 1.92(d)

About the Author

FRED WILSON is a professor emeritus in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Note on References xiii

Introduction 3

1 Abstract Ideas and Other Linguistic Rules in Hume 21

A Language and Hume's Moral Theory 23

B Introspective Psychology, Associationism, and Introspective Analysis 47

C How Thought Becomes General: Abstract Ideas, Images, Learning, and Rules of Language 69

D The 'New Hume' versus the 'Old' 88

Appendix Hume and Cognitive Psychology 115

2 The Waning of Scientia 131

A The Aristotelian Framework 132

B Perception 138

I The Problem of Perception 140

II The Aristotelian Solution to the Problem of Perception 144

III Unsolved Problems 145

IV What Next? 145

C Montaigne 147

D Descartes (i): The External World 151

E Descartes (ii): Perception 158

F Abstract Ideas Re-evaluated 163

G Knowledge Re-evaluated 173

H Berkeley (i): Antirepresentationalism 178

I Berkeley (ii): Realism 181

Note: Why, Given Berkeley's Realism, Are Some Appearances Said to Be Real When Others Are Not? 198

J Berkeley (iii): Idealism 204

K Whither Minds? 212

L Truth 241

3 Geometry as Scientia and as Applied Science: Hume's Empiricist Account of Geometry 254

A Extension and Its Idea 257

B Infinite Divisibility 265

C Our Idea of Infinity 269

D Real Extension out of Extensionless Points 272

E Ideal Equality, Ideal Figures: Scientia Criticized 283

4 Hume's Defence of Empirical Science 306

A Hume against Rationalism 307

B Hume's Defence of Scientific Inference 315

Note: Hume's 'Rules by Which to Judge of Causes and Effects' 319

C Science versus Superstition 321

D Science as Cognitive Virtue 326

5 Hume on Testimony and Its Epistemological Problems 332

ATestimony in Hume: Some Epistemological Problems 333

B A Wrong Model of Empiricism 336

C Autonomous Thinkers 340

D Social Context: Language and Testimony 345

E Testing Testimony 350

F The Responsible Knower 360

6 Knowledge 367

A After Scientia: What Knowledge Becomes and Problems with It 375

I Knowledge as Justified True Belief 375

II Coherence and Justification 378

III Objective versus Subjective 381

IV Knowledge by Accident 383

B Reliablism and Externalism 384

C Coherentism 392

D Experience and Justification (i): Radical Contingency 400

E Experience and Justification (ii): Reasonable Acceptance 414

F Experience and Justification (iii): Perception 436

7 Naturalism and Scepticism 447

A Defending Common Sense 447

B The Role of a Principle of Acquaintance in Ontology 455

I Hume and PA 464

II Moore and PA 472

III Reid and PA 489

C The Role of a Principle of Acquaintance in Epistemology 498

I Logical Atomism 499

II Truth Again: First Person and Third Person 510

D Scepticism and Naturalism 518

E The Dream Problem, Again 524

8 Hume's Critical Realism 536

A Once Again: The Charge of Scepticism 538

B Realism New and Critical 542

C Hume's New Realism: The System of the Vulgar; or, Hume's Berkeleyan Realism 546

D Continuity, Continuants, and Identity 562

I Continuing Existence and Continuants 564

II Filling Perceptual Gaps and Continuants 566

III More on Identity 571

IV An Analogous Case: The Missing Shade of Blue 575

V Several Concluding Non-sceptical Remarks 578

E Hume's Causal Inference to Critical Realism 579

F The System of the Vulgar as False, Inevitable, and Reasonable 590

G The World of the Philosophers 598

H A Tentative First Conclusion 608

I Hume's Doubts 615

J The Resolution of Hume's Doubts 622

K The Reasonableness of the System of the Philosophers 627

L Four Objections 633

I Inferring Unperceived Causes 633

II Cleanthes 663

III Lending a Hand to Hylas 673

IV The Enquiry Version 680

M Conclusion. David Hume: Critical Realist 688

Notes 693

Bibliography 771

Index 787

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